Tecsun 310et exceeded my expectations

VA3TFC

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Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
40
As the title says this radio has exceeded my expectations since I received it in the mail 3 days ago. The first evening I used it I tried the ETM function on SW and it received 20 signals with just the whip antenna in my basement apt. All were international broadcast stations and none were noise or spurious signals. Even when I hook it up to a random 15 foot of wire I have running out my window outside it didn't overload or find images of any strong MW stations in my area. I even have the wire attached via alligator clip to the whip antenna which is not really recommended but it actually improved the radio's performance. I had read in a few online reviews that the radio could overload or receive images from other broadcast band stations on shortwave/HF but I have not experienced this with the Tecsun 310et. Medium wave performance is quite decent as well. The FM stereo is fantastic! Using the ETM function on FM it found about 30 local stations clearly.

Maybe I got a good one? I don't have a wire antenna with a 3.5mm connector for the actual external FM/SW antenna jack but plan on getting one. So far I have logged new stations I had not heard on my little Retekess V-115 AM/FM/SW portable. For casual SW DXing I am very impressed. I also like the ETM function and the bandwidth filter. The fact that it can take AA rechargeable batteries is also a plus. Battery life also seems quite good. As soon as the weather improves I am going to try using it outdoors since I live in the highest part of the city right near to a wide open park with a sledding/ski hill which overlooks the city.
 

Arkmood

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
314
Location
Taney County MO
Thanks for the review, a high elevation/location is a great asset for monitoring...and have also found a wire attached by alligator clip to (sometimes) produce better results vs use of antenna input jack on several portable receivers - Sony 2010, Degen DE1103, and Realistic DX-440 ...
 

PACNWDude

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Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
944
After years of using Radio Shack/Realistic DX-190/370 and other SW receivers, I happened across the County Comm website and their Tecsun PL-365 clone (the GP-5/SSB) receiver. With Easy Tuning Mode (ETM), it picked up many signals in my area as well, scanning the bands considerably quicker than anything made in the 1990's or earlier. I then purchased the cheaper and lacking sideband, Tecsun PL-360 for comparison. I too noticed that three AA batteries last a long time in these two radios. I am now awaiting the Tecsun PL-368 that adds a numerical keypad, these are small radios, and great for hiking and emergency use.

Tecsun makes some great SW/MW/LW receivers, at reasonable prices and performance capability.
 

VA3TFC

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Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
40
Yeah I like Tecsun products so far since I also had the R-9012 analog AM/FM/SW portable radio and it was a fine little radio but I gave it to a friend of mine once I got the new PL-310et. He loves it. I too might get the new PL-368 or even the PL-365 since they both have SSB. The lack of a direct entry keypad on the PL-365 is not really a deal breaker for me.
 

p1879

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Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Messages
216
I have a 310 also, and find it a good radio. Once upon a time, when most all nations had SW stations-- and noise at listener locations was low --this little radio would have been witchcraft.

Maybe Glenn Hauser or someone in the know could suggest a number, but I suspect a radio like the 310 would have encountered 100+ sw transmissions on most any evening in the 1970's. Just the VOA, BBC, Radio Moscow, Peking and Havana transmissions heard in North America might have approached that 100 station mark. Far more exotic listening was afoot, with Latin America having a large number of HF stations 30 years ago, and many countries with remote backcountry had local SW broadcasting. Luckily, Brazil still has R. Nac. Amazonas!

Saw a sad film on youtube today of the abandoned Delano, Ca. VOA transmitter site.
Glad you are enthused with SW radio listening.

p1879
 

majoco

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Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,872
Location
New Zealand
I have a Degen 1103, a Tecsun PL600 and a Tecsun PL360 - they all perform very well, although I prefer the PL600 just for ease of operation - the SSB is very stable and right on frequency with the 1103 and the PL600 - the 360 of course doesn't do SSB.
 
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Boombox

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Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
987
Maybe Glenn Hauser or someone in the know could suggest a number, but I suspect a radio like the 310 would have encountered 100+ sw transmissions on most any evening in the 1970's. Just the VOA, BBC, Radio Moscow, Peking and Havana transmissions heard in North America might have approached that 100 station mark. Far more exotic listening was afoot, with Latin America having a large number of HF stations 30 years ago, and many countries with remote backcountry had local SW broadcasting. Luckily, Brazil still has R. Nac. Amazonas!

p1879
Look at it this way: In 1998 when the Sangean ATS909 / Realistic DX-398 came out, there were over 200 frequency memories pre-programmed in the radio, most of them for international broadcasters. Although the pre-programmed memories were oriented towards European or ECNA listeners, most of them worked for owners of those radios. Many owners of those radios overrode the pre-programmed memories and added their own logs in the memories, either of stations they heard, or stations they hoped to hear. I did that, and most of the memory locations in my DX-398 remained useful up until the early 2010's, when they became less and less useful.

Right now, all of those 200+ memory locations are more or less useless. My Grundig G2 has 50 SW memories. I filled them fairly quickly over the next few months after I got the radio in 2014. From 2014 to 2016 or so, whenever I 'tuned' through the memories, most of them had signals on them during any given SWL session. Now? Most nights I 'tune' through those memory locations only two of them have signals -- the Voice of Greece (if conditions are good to Europe) and maybe Amazonia or Cuba. The other 47 memory locations are static.

That's how much the combination of SW station sign-offs and poor conditions has affected what you can hear on the dial -- at least in far flung regions like the PNW, the mountain west, and a lot of Western Canada and other areas either far from SW outlets or affected by auroral zones. When I started in this hobby over 35 years ago, the bands were packed. It didn't matter if the sunspots were up, or down -- that only affected the higher bands. Solar cycle up or solar cycle down, every band from 19 meters on down was packed. It was heterodyne mania if you didn't have a radio with really good selectivity. Now the bands are mostly packed with static. Hopefully SW will improve as sunspots improve. Fingers crossed...

Like you mention early in your post -- it's true -- any of these modern portable radios would have been magical to have back when SW was king, not just for the portability and ease of frequency readout, but the selectivity, and their overall performance is awe inspiring, especially when compared to what was available in the 1970's or 80s. Even a lot of 1990s radios didn't have the performance of a modern Tecsun or Grundig (or Sangean, if what I've been reading about the 909X2 is accurate).
 
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